Do y'all remember when I told you about a new dystopian novel Divergent a couple of months ago? (Click here to read my review...it's okay, I'll wait.) Caught up? Good. Because I have been waiting to tell you ALL ABOUT Book two of the series, Insurgent. I'm not even gonna lie to y'all, I'm still totally loving this series. I've heard a little bit of flack recently surrounding the rise in YA dystopian novels specifically with the comparisons to the wonderful Hunger Games series and Roth's Divergent series and the obvious similarities that lie within nearly ALL YA novels of this nature. While I can see how people would make the connections, I just can't agree with those who say that it's ripping off Collins' series, especially after reading book 2.
In Insurgent, picking up immediately where Divergent left off, we find Tris struggling with both the loss of her parents and the knowledge that she has killed one of her closest friends after the Dauntless raids on the Abnegation compounds while under a mind-controlling serum developed by the Erudite. In the aftermath of the massive destruction, the Dauntless are split amongst the faction between those who have allied with Erudite and the outcasts (such as Tris and Four) who are now being hunted down by their former faction-mates. Finding brief sanctuary within other factions, (such as the peace-loving Amity & the truth-seeking Candor) and even the factionless, the bonds between friends are tested, with each having to face both the good and bad sides of what has defined them within their faction All the while war and hard-kept secrets begin to surface, threaten the very safety and peace which the factions were created to uphold.
Vague enough for y'all?! I apologize for that, but really there's way too much to spoil for you, I'd much rather you dig into this series for yourselves. One of Roth's strengths as a young writer is in the development of her characters in a way that highlights their strengths and their flaws and how each can play off the another. The fact that Tris is in such a constant state of conflict, her pride, her pigheadedness, and even her ability to be so unlikeable at times... it makes her reactions to the situations so much more real and believable, even when you think she's an idiot for choosing those paths.
I was initially concerned about the whole YA Book 2 curse, (sequels so rarely live up to their predecessors,) but Roth really did a wonderful job of developing the story with the right amount of plot twists and surprises, and yes, even a little teenage angst. (I can't say how HAPPY I am that she hasn't gone down the cursed Twilight and Hunger Games path of a love triangle... It's such a distraction! Although there were a few times where I just wanted them to GET IT ON already and stop having passionate kisses and strong embraces. Gag. There's a WAR going on people! Do it.)
Laying it all out there, I'm going to go out on a limb and sat that I really felt that this book was even better that Divergent. Roth was able to move away from those similarities to other aforementioned YA novels and really create a distinct and different story. (I specifically appreciated Tris' conflict with her actions during the raid, the trauma of having to continue on as normal, and the remorse she felt for her fallen friends; Roth's ability to strip down this character was something of a refreshing change and something I could really connect with.) There's also a pretty epic twist at the end of the book, (no spoilers,) that I promise will have you riveted to your seat waiting on the next installment. For those of you who love dystopian YA novels, this book is for you. For those of you who love action, adventure, and a teensy bit of romance, this book is for you. (For those of you who don't like to read...sorry. Come back tomorrow :)
Posting Next: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Reading Next: The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Susan Addison Allen
*** I've been thinking of starting a little monthly bloggy book club if there's interest? I'd love to have a little mini-panel with any readers who would like to share their thoughts in a post or two about upcoming books and such, if you're interested email me (or post in the comments) and we'll get it started! For the time being I'll be posting the upcoming books below the current book review. I literally just finished The Book Thief and will be writing a review on it shortly, but would love to possibly discuss The Girl Who Chased the Moon? Holler at me! xoxo Fearsy